Reverence and Resilience

Some preliminary notes

A friend suggested to me the other day that reverence might be at the heart of our work. She proposed that there is a relationship between reverence and resilience. I asked what she meant by reverence. She said that she meant reverence for life. Then she said she also meant reverence for whatever each of us holds to be the organizing principle of the universe. Continue reading

The Grand Design

The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.
Albert Einstein

A unifying theory of the universe is the holy grail of modern physics. Einstein sought but did not find it. The great Cambridge mathematician Stephen Hawking and CalTech physicist Leonard Mlodinow believe they have found that unifying theory in something called M-theory. They take us on a journey I can only sketch in their elegant book The Grand Design [Bantam, 2010]. Continue reading

A Poem for Our Time


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)